(LifeSiteNews) — A teenage girl who prayed a novena to Our Lady of Snows has reported a miraculous healing that took place in Fátima, Portugal, during World Youth Day.
Jimena, a Spanish pilgrim who attended the conference last week, has attracted international attention with her testimony that she regained her eyesight after receiving Holy Communion during Mass in Fátima.
World Youth Day (WYD) took place from August 1-6 and was hosted in Portugal.
The 16-year-old girl had suffered from near-total blindness for the past two and a half years, a result of myopia complications. Her friends and family organized a novena to Our Lady of the Snows, offered with the intention of the girl’s recovery. On August 5, the last day of the novena and the feast honoring Our Lady of the Snows, Jimena could “see perfectly.”
The healing occurred after she received the Eucharist during Mass in Fatima.
Jimena told the Spanish radio station COPE that she was “very nervous” while waiting to receive Communion, and that “when I sat in the pew I started to cry, I did not want to open my eyes.” Then, she explained, “I got excited and when I opened them, I saw, I saw everything very clearly.”
“I could see the altar, the tabernacle, I had a friend next to me and I could see her perfectly.”
“I spent the whole Mass asking for my healing, but when I received Communion before opening my eyes, the only thing I felt was peace,” she added. The girl said that “since it coincided with WYD, we asked all the young people to pray for my healing.”
Jimena’s father, Gustavo, told The Pillar that his daughter’s progressive vision loss began when she was 14-years-old due to an uncontrollable spasm in her eyes. As medical treatments made no difference in her condition except to cause additional side effects, Jimena faced the reality of her lost vision.
Prior to attending WYD, the girl told her father that “she had had an inspiration while praying the Rosary, that she felt that the Virgin was asking her to make a novena between July 28 and August 5.” However, she later doubted whether it was a heavenly inspiration “because we didn’t think August 5 was a Marian feast of any kind.”
“But I searched the internet and saw that August 5 is the day of the Virgin of the Snows,” Gustavo said. “So, I told her that we would do it with all the faith in the world, and we would tell all our friends to join us in praying, and praying with the conviction that this is the day and she would be cured.”
He also shared that his daughter “made a deep confession” on the ninth day of the novena, which she said “was the best and deepest confession of her life.” Jimena reportedly read the last prayers of the novena with her eyes instead of in Braille.
“August 5 is my new birthday because the Virgin has given me a gift that I will not forget,” Jimena said, according to The Pillar.
“Give thanks to God,” Archbishop of Barcelona and president of the Spanish Bishops’ Conference Cardinal Juan José Omella said in a statement to CNA’s Spanish news partner ACI Prensa. “This doesn’t lead to the cause of beatification for anyone, because the Virgin is already a saint, but it is indeed a grace from God.”
“The doctors will have to assess it, what it was like, if it existed, if it could be cured or not,” Omella continued. “But for now, for the girl that has been a major event. Let’s say a miracle. She didn’t see and now she sees. Now the doctors will be able to say the set, but she has gone home seeing. Well, she sees, blessed be God.”